Backstage Banter with Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund

Dean Holt and Reed Sigmund have been working alongside each other for 13 years as company members of Children’s Theatre Company. After seeing them onstage in countless shows, it was a pleasure to meet them in person and talk with them about their latest CTC collaboration: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (which is technically a redo for them, as they did it first in 2008 and have since re-worked it).

I met the men backstage in their dressing room, where Dean, who is as energetic as the audiences for which he performs, turned on his record player to give us some “mood music.” In no time, the three of us were chatting, about their acting styles, past productions, and just about everything else that popped into our heads.

Dan Norman

Tell me a little about the show.

Dean Holt (the mouse): It’s about a boy and a mouse (jumps out of his seat and starts grabbing things off hangers). It’s a very physical show. I’ve got pads and interesting shoes and need to refuel with protein powder and Gatorade (points at a ledge stocked with food and drinks). The show is slapstick, cartoonish, and has some elements of vaudeville and silent comedy duos as well. 

Reed Sigmund (the boy): I played football for nine years and this is more exhausting. This is a different level of football.

Dean, I’ve seen you leap through the air many times. You are quite limber!

DH: The chance of injury in this show is huge, but we have a level of trust with each other since we have been working together so long.

RS: I never have to ask Dean if I can pick him up, I just do it. We don’t have to worry about that awkward “getting to know each other” phase.

As incredible as the two of you are, I always enjoy watching the kids’ faces in the audience at the shows.

DH: The sense of imagination the kids bring is awesome. They have an incredible scope of imagination.

Do you ever work outside of the Children’s Theatre?

RS: We have had people ask us to, but there are so many opportunities for us here, we never feel like we are missing out on anything. There’s so much heart in our pieces because we are constantly trying new things. One day I designed a tree costume for one of the shows I was in. I’ve never designed anything in my life. It was so cool! 

Speaking of interesting costumes, you played the Grinch this year didn’t you?

RS: Yes! It was not a role I saw myself in, but the director did. Once we started working through the scenes I started to feel more comfortable. 

On and off stage Reed and Dean both share a love for chocolate chip cookies and have wives that also work at Children’s Theatre Company. To see these fun-loving guys, check out If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, playing now through July 21.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Through July 21
Children’s Theatre Company
2400 Third Ave S., Mpls., 612-874-0400,